Broadcast 1520 (Special Edition)

01 Mar 2011 Bretton Alexander
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Guest: Bretton Alexander. Topics: Commercial Spaceflight Federation, commercial space, suborbital research flights. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. You can find out more about the Commercial Spaceflight Federation by visiting www.commercialspaceflight.org. For this program, our guests and agenda changed as George Whitesides was unable to join us due to a delayed flight arrival time and Mr. Alexander had attended a CCDEV2 set of meetings that took him away from the Orlando suborbital researchers conference. Despite the changes, Mr. Alexander was a very welcome guest as I have been wanting to feature the Commercial Spaceflight Federation on The Space Show for more than a year. We started off with Brett telling us about the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, its membership, its purpose and goals. We talked about the realities of going up on the Hill and lobbying/influencing congress to support commercial space development and public-private partnerships with NASA for the commercial space industry, specifically for human spaceflight. Brett had much to say about the budget issues, the congressional focus on cost cutting and NASA FY 11 and FY 12 budget proposals. We also talked about the capabilities of the commercial sector to provide LEO and ISS transportation and that it would be the most cost effective way to develop this transportation system moving forward. Later in our first segment, I asked Brett about his experience in space policy working for both the Clinton and Bush White House so don't miss what he had to say. As one of the authors of the Vision for Space Exploration, he did say he was sorry to see that it did not work out but as you will hear, for budgetary and other reasons, changes had to be made. We talked about using the NASA FY 2010 $18.7 billion budget as the flat budget for five years but of course that has not yet been finalized. At the end of the first segment, we talked about the Open Letter to Congress regarding commercial crew development. You can read the letter at www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1509. In our second segment, Brett went into more detail about commercial crew development (CCDEV), its funding and the second part of the program known as CCDEV2. Later in the segment, I asked what key events we should be on the watch for and he suggested the CCDEV 2 selection later this month, more Falcon 9 and Dragon launches plus the planned Orbital launches for later this year. He also said to watch Virgin Galactic for the engine tests and of course to see how the legislation and the budget unfolds, both for FY 11 and FY 12. If you have questions or comments for Brett Alexander, please post them on the blog URL above. You can also email them to me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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